by Rod D. Martin
August 16, 2004
Did George W. Bush lie about WMDs? Not according to senior Democrats; and though many of them have about-faced post-Michael Moore, their collective testimony bears close examination.
Here’s President Bill Clinton, February 17, 1998: “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”
On February 18, 1998, Secretary of State Madeline Albright added this: “[W]hat happens [in Iraq] matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”
That same day, Sandy Berger intoned: “[Saddam] will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”
By the fall of 1998, Congress could be heard weighing in on the matter.
In a letter to Clinton dated October 9, Democratic senators, including Tom Daschle, Carl Levin, and John Kerry, urged him, after consulting with Congress, to take all actions necessary in response to “the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi said, on December 16, “Saddam…has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspections process.”
Three years later, after 9/11, Democrats were singing the same song.
In a letter to President Bush, dated December 5, 2001, Senator Bob Graham, joining other senators, wrote the following: “Saddam has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical, and nuclear programs continue…and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.”
A year later, on September 23, 2002, none other than Al Gore — who now calls Bush a “liar” — somberly warned, based on his knowledge from the Clinton years, that an undeterred Saddam had WMDs and wanted more: “We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country…Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”
In that same speech, delivered to the San Francisco Commonwealth Club, Gore reminded his hearers that “we [have had] a goal of regime change in Iraq….for a number of years.”
On October 10, Hillary Clinton echoed her fellow Democrats about Saddam’s chemical and biological stocks, his missile delivery capability, and his relentless pursuit of nukes. Interestingly enough she also added, “[Saddam] has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda….”
And then there’s John Kerry, the accuser-in-chief.
On October 9, 2002, Kerry said, “I will be voting to give the President…the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam…because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”
Three months later, on January 23, 2003, as war approached, Kerry said, “Without question, we need to disarm Saddam…He is a brutal, murderous dictator…He presents a….grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation…And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction….So the threat of Saddam…with weapons of mass destruction is real…”
On January 31, in the Los Angeles Times, Ronald Brownstein quoted Kerry as saying, “If you don’t believe Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear weapons, then you shouldn’t vote for me.”
Yet today, Kerry — along with virtually all Democrats everywhere — pretends just the opposite: it was, supposedly, all a big lie, personally concocted by George W. Bush.
They’re not concerned with the evidence. They don’t ask where al Qaeda terrorists got the twenty tons of nerve gas confiscated from them in Amman, Jordan this April, just before they unleashed another Nagasaki. They don’t want to pursue Israeli reports of large WMD stocks smuggled into Syria, or even UN reports of whole Iraqi anti-aircraft missiles turning up in Holland. Even the Iraq Survey Group’s report — providing irrefutable proof of Saddam’s capability to produce large quantities of chemical weapons at a moment’s notice — is swept under the rug.
Yet, as Bill Clinton put it to Larry King in July 2003 (after the war) “it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there [was]…a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for [in Iraq].” The threat was real. The threat is still real. President Bush has eliminated Saddam Hussein, his murderous regime, and his ability to produce new weapons at the drop of a hat. But hundreds of tons of WMD materials remain unaccounted for. We can either find them now in the Middle East or we can find them someday in New York.
What we cannot, must not do is play politics with the issue. Even Bill Clinton will not. So why does John Kerry, and why does the entire Michael Moore wing of his party? This is the sort of irresponsibility that could cost millions of lives. It is certainly not worthy of elevation to the Presidency.